Accenture PLC has announced the creation of 15,000 ‘highly skilled’ new jobs in the United States by 2020 – arguably the latest development in a spirit of accession by tech companies to Donald Trump’s protectionist policies.
The company, which is incorporated in Ireland and provides technology and operations services, is promising to open ten new innovation centres in ‘key cities’ in the U.S. It has also committed to provide $1.4 billion in training, though it is not entirely clear if this is covered in the same period.
The augmentation of Accenture’s global workforce will take it to over 65,000 people, an increase of 30%. 380,000 of these are currently based in India. However U.S. business represented 46% of the company’s full-year revenue at close of August 2016.
Accenture CEO Julie Sweet commented “In recent months, I have met with clients across all the major industries we serve, and the need for innovation to grow, compete and transform in the digital economy has never been greater,” and continued “I am excited that we are creating even more opportunities for our people to participate in one of the most dynamic parts of the American economy…Today marks a key moment for Accenture to help our clients play an even bigger part in the nation’s growth and innovation agenda.”
Tech players such as Apple, Microsoft and Google are now under pressure to respond to President Trump’s promises of increased import duties, and a re-examination of the H-1B visa scheme which has allowed for the importing of highly skilled computer staff since 1990 – a practice which recent research contends has cost local equivalent workers quite dearly.
In the absence of concrete legislation so early in Trump’s presidency, true industry concession to a relocalised U.S. manufacturing base is hard to determine. However Asian manufacturer Samsung recently took umbrage with a tweet from President Trump congratulating them on their intent to locate a new factory in the U.S., claiming that no such decision has been made, and that the publicity is putting unfair pressure on Samsung.